Running to Win
As the cheerleaders at the pep rally waved their pompoms, they chanted loudly, "Jon, Jon, he's our man! If he can't do it, no one can! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! VICTORY!"
Jon smiled broadly. He was the first person from his small, Christian school to qualify for the state track meet, and everyone was cheering him on. They were sure he'd win.
After the rally, Jon and his friend Bill talked as they gathered their things and prepared to leave the building. "Let's go and celebrate with a banana split," suggested Bill. "On me."
"Sounds good!" exclaimed Jon. Then he shook his head. "But I'd better not," he added. "I still have to watch what I eat. You have to do that when you're a runner. Coach gave us guys a whole list of stuff we should pretty much avoid, you know--and it includes things like banana splits."
"Yeah, but track season is basically done," argued Bill.
"Not for me, it isn't. I still have to run at the state competition," Jon said.
"Oh, you'll win that," replied Bill.
"I hope so, but I haven't won yet," said Jon, "so I still have to watch my diet."
"Well, I'm glad I'm not into track. You have to make too big a sacrifice," commented Bill. "I don't think I'd like that."
"It's hard work," Jon agreed, "but actually, when I eat right, I feel better. And I like track because when I run, it feels good to stretch my legs. Besides, it's kinda peaceful and fun being out in God's creation."
"You sound like a cross between a preacher and a health nut," teased Bill. "But that's okay if it makes you a champion for our school! You can do it!"
"I'll sure try," Jon promised. He glanced at his watch. "I'd better go."
"Okay. See you later, Champ," said Bill. The boys parted and headed home.
As Jon drifted off to sleep that night, his mind was on the coming track meet. He thought the kids might be right--maybe he would win the race. He had done his best to prepare for it. As his eyes closed in sleep, he could almost hear the shouts of victory.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you aware that God compares life to a race? (See today’s Scripture.) Athletes often sacrifice as they work hard to win trophies that last only a short time. Christians should be willing to do the same to win the eternal reward God gives. Has He asked you to use your free time to witness to a friend? To give up going to a sports game so that you can attend a church activity? To help with chores when you’d rather read a good story? Do whatever the Lord asks as you run life’s race for Him.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: (Hebrews 12:1)
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.